Swagat Indian Cuisine, an old guard in the Legazpi Village food scene for almost two decades now, has moved to a new location, still in Makati City.
Swagat, which means “welcome” in Hindi, has brought to The Columns at the corner of Amorsolo Street and Arnaiz Avenue its authentic Indian dishes that have been delighting locals and expats alike since 2003.
“Through our restaurant, we want Filipinos to continue having a cultural and healthful gastronomic adventure into the heart of India without hurting the budget,” said the owner and chef Komal Khanchandani.
The soft-spoken restaurateur said Swagat’s philosophy of not resorting to shortcuts remains, including the use of a variety of spices such as black and green cardamom, cloves, coriander, mustard seeds, turmeric, and saffron.
Over the years, Swagat has been rewarded with accolades for its commitment to serving authentic dishes, including the Philippine Quality Awards for Business Excellence and the Global Brands Awards.
But perhaps the best reward and testament to Komal’s dishes is the loyal patronage of Swagat’s customers who have enjoyed her home-cooked style over the years.
“It is tiring to cook Indian dishes, but seeing our customers coming back regularly makes it worth it,” said Komal.
She has also positioned Swagat as a vegetarian and halal restaurant to cater to Muslim visitors and expats, as well as the growing legion of vegan diners.
As has been the case in the past, there are still no ornate interiors, belly dancers or banghra musicians to entice customers to try Swagat.
But what the restaurant lacks in the frills department, Komal more than compensates with her tasty dishes.
And together with these dishes is Komal’s dare to every customer since Swagat first opened 16 years ago: “Don’t pay if you are not satisfied with the food.”
Diners are, happily still, paying their bills.
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